Sephora 30 Under $30

We all know prices are going up in beauty, so I curated list of 30 standout products under $30 at Sephora. These are all full-size products, because personally I really dislike having a million flimsy minis floating around in my life.


You're going to see a lot of cheek & lip products on this list because of the price point, but I've also included some skincare and hair care favorites as well. Lots of great stocking stuffers here!


These are highly giftable products for the beauty lover in your life – or yourself.


MAKEUP


1. Tower 28 Beauty BeachPlease Lip+Cheek Cream Blush, $20 – Be forewarned, you’re going to see a lot of Tower 28 on this list because their price point is fantastic and their products are some of my favorites, regardless of price point. Their cream blush is a longtime favorite of mine. Easy to blend and long-wearing, even on my combo skin type. They’ve curated a really stunning shade range over the last couple of years and I think there’s a shade for everyone here. I use their newest shade, Office Hours, here!


2. Tower 28 Beauty ShineOn Lip Jelly Non-Sticky Gloss, $15 – Not a traditional gloss, not a balm, this is a true gel-like formula that comes in an assortment of beautiful, wearable shades. The formula is so nourishing that I've emptied several tubes of the clear version because I use it as a lip balm and even overnight. I use the shade Sesame here.


There's also a Gloss Duo Set ($22) with two full-size glosses, including a new champagne shade called Dream.



3. Tower 28 Make Waves Mascara, $20 – The one mascara to rule them all. This has quickly become my go-to. An extremely buildable formula that separates, lengthens, and builds volume without ever weighing my lashes down. The curved wand is the perfect size for distributing product through the lashes without ever over-applying. If you love a fluttery lash, you’ll love this. It’s also not a waterproof formula technically, but it never smudges on me. I review it here!

4. Tower 28 SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted MoisturizerA tinted SPF with broad spectrum SPF 30, all mineral UV filters, and light/medium coverage. This is a beautiful, creamy, easy-to-wear tinted SPF that’s perfect for everyday wear. It has a natural, slightly dewy finish on my combo/oily skin. Personally I wear this over my regular SPF to make sure I get sufficient SPF coverage. It can be difficult to get the appropriate SPF coverage with a tinted product like this, so I think of this more as a makeup step with the added bonus of SPF. It’s fragrance-free and alcohol-free, the only complexion product with the National Eczema Association’s seal. In short: excellent for sensitive skins. Tower 28 created a very inclusive shade range with this release, and though it has 14 shades, they are evenly distributed from very light to very deep.



5. Rare Beauty Kind Words Lip Liner, $15 – A retractable gel lip liner that is creamy but very long-lasting with a matte finish. The Rare Beauty lip line release this year is full of beautiful curated “nude” lip shades from cool to warm and light to deep, so if there’s a shade you like I really don’t think you can go wrong. Talented is a great cool-toned nude lipliner shade on me.


6. Danessa Myricks Vision Flush, $20 – The longest-lasting liquid blush. This is a formula I’ve loved for years. Uber pigmented, this formula works best by applying to the back of the hand and picking up with a brush then applying to cheeks. I’ve loved the shade Ballet Slipper for years, but I also tried Nutcracker (a neutral beige-y rose) and Sweet Nectar (a coral orange) this year, and I love them both.


7. beautyblender, $20 – Iconic. Timeless. Remains the best beauty sponge out there, despite some heavy competition over the years. beautyblender Nude is my personal favorite.


8. Dior Backstage Concealer, $29 – One of my favorite discoveries of 2022, this is a medium to high coverage concealer with a lot of stretch. A little goes a long way. I love the brush applicator because it prevents over-application. This looks skin-like all day long without settling into fine lines. Shade 2W is a great match for me.


9. Natasha Denona Mini Palettes, $27 – Pick one, any one. If there’s a color story you love, you will not be disappointed. If you like cool neutrals, Mini Glam might be your pick. For warm neutrals, I'm partial to Mini Nude.





10. Merit Signature Lip Lipstick, $26 – One of my favorite products from Merit, the Signature Lipstick is a bullet lipstick with an ultra-modern buildable sheerness. The edited shade range feels sophisticated with a range of nudes, roses, browns, and berries. I always say this is a lipstick that even people who don’t like lipstick will love. An elevated step up from a tinted lip balm.


11. Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil, $22 – The Artist Color Pencils are multi-use pencils that come in a wide range of tones with a guaranteed “nude” lip liner for every skin tone. Anywhere Caffeine remains my most-used and ideal nude lip pencil, a rosy brown that goes with everything. Endless Cacao is a very cool-toned lip contour shade that I use to sculpt the lips.


12. Rose Inc. Cream Blush, $30– What I like to call a sturdy cream blush formula, this has some density to it, which makes it long-lasting on my skin. Despite its thicker texture, I find that it blends out beautifully and evenly. Azalea is a beautiful cool-toned berry shade that creates a flushed wintry cheek look. I also love that these are refillable with a magnetic compact.

13. Bare Minerals Blonzer, $25 – Intended to be a blush + bronzer combo, consider this a warm-toned radiant blush. A blendable powder formula that looks radiant on the skin. This are stunning on the skin: luminous, glowy, and creamy.


14. Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm, $23 – One for the no-makeup-makeup lovers, this is a yummy, creamy liquid balm in a tube. Vanilla Beige has a lovely rosy beige tint.


15. iNNBEAUTY PROJECT Face Glaze, $24 – An illuminating primer that works well for all skin types, this a slightly grippy gel-like texture that imparts a skin-like, glow without being overwhelmingly shiny or glossy. Sets down to a skin-like finish, not emollient or greasy at all.




16. Merit Shade Slick, $24 – A lip oil meets a lip gloss. The shades in the tube appear deeper than they are on the lips. They are thin in texture and hydrating, but don’t slip around or migrate outside of lip lines. Sheer with one layer but buildable. They’re not long-wearing, but they fade gracefully and are easy to reapply.






17. Laneige Lip Mask, $24 – I have used this lip sleeping mask every night for 5+ years. It just does everything I need. It’s a thick balm in a pot that contains .7 oz of product, meaning it will last forever. You only need a small amount. It coats the lips and feels super cushiony. I wake up every morning with smooth, hydrated lips. It comes with a cute little spatula for hygienic application, which I appreciate but always lose. My favorite scent is Vanilla; there are also two limited edition holiday scents, Peppermint and Pumpkin Spice.



TOOLS



18. Merit Brush No 1, $30 – This is a dense but very soft brush that has just enough give to blend out the stick foundation. I also use this with liquid and cream products and it blends like a dream with no streakiness left behind. A perfect pairing with the Merit Minimalist Complexion Stick.


19. Sephora PRO #56 Brush, $30 – The Sephora Collection brushes are fantastic, in my opinion. They are very well-made mid-range synthetic fiber brushes. #56 is my favorite brush for a variety of purposes. It’s called a foundation brush, and it works very well for that, but I also love it for cream cheek product application, blush especially. It’s densely packed with medium length, soft fibers. It has a dome shape and a small ferrule that makes it perfect for blending out all cream products. I see there’s a mini version of this brush, if you’re curious to try it for a lower price point!

SKINCARE


20. iNNBEAUTY PROJECT Slushy Serum, $22 – One of the more texturally fun/interesting serums I’ve tried in recent memory, this comes out as a light gel texture that instantly turns watery (or “slushy”) once it touches the skin. Adds a fresh layer of hydration to the skin and bakuchiol for some light brightening.


21. Laneige Cream Skin Mist, $27 – A milky, hydrating, delicious mist that is uber hydrating. Slightly richer than a watery mist with no added fragrance. If you have dry or sensitive skin, you’ll love this. Also great to give the gift of hydration!


22. Paula's Choice Omega Cleansing Balm, $29 – A great cleansing balm option for sensitive skins, this is a buttery, fragrance-free cleansing balm that comes in a tube. Melts away makeup and SPF and rinses away beautifully without stripping the skin.


23. Necessaire Body Wash, $25 – Comes in three fragrances: Eucalyptus, Bergamot, and Sandalwood, and also Fragrance-Free. Bergamot and Sandalwood are both sexy, unisex, musky types of scents. Eucalyptus is my current favorite, a sharp and fresh true eucalyptus scent. I also love the Fragrance-Free option. The body wash creates a nice foam, but is pH balanced to keep the skin hydrated.


23. Necessaire Body Lotion, $28 – A lightweight but nourishing blend of sweet almond, hazelnut, macadamia oils, among others. This sinks in very quickly, it's a fantastic option for people who need hydration but don't like the feeling of heavy moisturizers.


24. Necessaire Hand Cream, $20 – A fragrance-free, lightweight hand cream that is enriched with peptides. This is my current desk-side hand cream: it moisturizes but sinks in quickly so I can get right back to work on my keyboard without worrying about greasiness or residue. It's also a very generous size – would make a great stocking stuffer!

HAIR


26. Olaplex No. 3, $30 – A cult favorite for good reason. This is a treatment that is made for dry, damaged, dehydrated, chemically processed hair. It utilizes some science-y technology to help smooth broken hair bonds. The hair shaft at least appears and feels to be repaired: smoother, silkier, shinier. I highly recommend using this when you can leave it in for long periods of time, at least 45 mins! Just so your hair can soak up all the goodness.


27. Olaplex No. 4 Shampoo and No. 5 Conditioner, $30 each – These two have actually changed the way my hair feels and looks while I’ve used them. The shine and softness I get from this duo is unreal. They are super concentrated and thick. Because of that, they take some to work it in, but it’s the only sulfate/SLS-free shampoo I’ve used that actually lathers up to be creamy and bubbly the way I like. The shine and luster this imparts on my hair is so beautiful. Because of how rich these are, my scalp gets oilier a bit faster than with other products, but it never weighs my hair down so it’s worth it to me.


28. Ceremonia Guava Rescue Spray, $22 – Ceremonia is a newer brand at Sephora, and I’m so excited about it. The Guava line is tropical, fruity deliciousness. The Rescue Spray is a multi-tasking leave-in product that detangles, hydrates, and protects from heat.



FRAGRANCE


This category is the only exception to my no-minis rule simply because travel-size fragrance tubes and rollerballs can go a long way. Plus, I think fragrance is a gift of experience.



29. Dedcool Taunt – Sephora has brought in several niche fragrance brands this year, and Dedcool is one of my favorites. is exactly the kind of vanilla scent I love: warm but woodsy, skin-like and not overly sweet or gourmand. A modern, fresh vanilla. Much like Milk, this is a very “wearable” perfume that I can wear for any occasion. The travel size is a generous .5 oz. with a proper mister.


30. Dedcool Milk – Milk is considered a “layering fragrance” – think of it as an eau de toilette, or a lighter version of a perfume. Milk is a very clean musk with notes of amber and bergamot. There’s a touch of white florals to keep things clean and fresh. Wears close to the skin, becomes softer throughout the day, work-appropriate but also cozy. If you like Glossier You, you’ll love this.